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Judge in Pamela Geller beheading trial told Shoe Bomber in 2003: “You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist.”

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“You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist,” Young said in a soft voice. “We are not afraid of any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. . . . We are Americans. We have been through the fire before.”

Fourteen years later, William Young was the judge in the trial of Muslim convert Daoud Wright, who plotted to behead me.

Has Young realized since 2003 that yes, Reid and Wright and other Muslims like them are terrorists, but they are also soldiers in a war — a long war against the U.S., against Israel, against all free people? The sooner we stop treating every jihad terrorist as if he were an individual criminal, and realize that we are in a war, the more chance we will have of winning it.

“Shoe bomber gets life — and a lecture / Marshals remove belligerent Reid,” by Thanassis Cambanis, Boston Globe, January 31, 2003:

Boston — A defiant Richard Colvin Reid, the admitted al Qaeda operative convicted of trying to blow up a jetliner with explosives hidden in his sneakers, shook a fist at the federal judge who sentenced him to life in prison Thursday, shouting, “You’re not going to stand me down. You’ll go down. You will be judged by Allah,” before four U.S. marshals dragged him from the courtroom.

At a dramatic two-hour hearing in a heavily secured U.S. District Court in Boston, Reid announced once again that he was a soldier in Osama bin Laden’s army. Listening in the jury box were 10 members of the American Airlines crew who had subdued Reid after he tried six times to ignite the plastic explosives in his shoes with a match. One of the crew members wept as Reid, 29, spoke.

Glaring at the flight crew, Reid tried to justify his actions as part of a broad war against the United States. “With regards to what you said about killing innocent people, I want to say one thing: Your government has killed 2 million children in Iraq,” referring to the U.S.-backed sanctions there.

Chief U.S. District Judge William G. Young, after pronouncing the sentence, told Reid that to consider himself a “warrior” in a global war between Islam and the West “gives you far too much stature.”

“You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist,” Young said in a soft voice. “We are not afraid of any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. . . . We are Americans. We have been through the fire before.”

Just before instructing marshals to take Reid into custody, Young motioned to the American flag standing behind him.

“See that flag, Mr. Reid?” Young said. “That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag still stands for freedom. You know it always will.”

Reid replied, “That flag will be brought down on the day of judgment, and you will see in front of your Lord and my Lord, and then we will know.”

If Reid had succeeded in igniting the explosives in his shoes — which prosecutors have variously referred to as sneakers, hiking boots and hiking shoes — aboard the Paris-to-Miami flight on Dec. 22, 2001, the explosion might have killed all the 197 passengers and crew aboard, including 20 children, prosecutors said Thursday.

Thursday’s sentencing concluded the first successful prosecution of an al Qaeda terrorist since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks….

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerard Leone, who led the prosecution team, asked for the maximum possible sentence. Reid faced a life sentence, along with a concurrent sentence of 60 to 110 years in prison, under federal sentencing guidelines. Besides the life sentence, Young imposed an additional 110 years, the maximum, to be served concurrently.

“In his mind, the religion of Islam justifies the killing of innocent civilians,” Leone said.

Asked by his defense team to explain his motives, Reid described his descent into drugs and petty crime, a spiral that was reversed after his conversion to Islam during a three-year stint in prison for purse-snatching.

After embracing Islamic extremism following his release from prison in 1995, Reid traveled to Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan, and throughout Western Europe before buying a plane ticket with $2,000 in cash in December 2001.

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